Double Fine founder and game designer Tim Schafer (Psychonauts
) has posted a downloadable PDF
of Grim Fandango
's 72-page "puzzle document" after what he described as a fit of nostalgia for the computer game, presumably from a recent reunion with LucasArts' Grim Fandango
team celebrating the title's release ten years ago.
The document was put together by Schafer, Peter Tsacle, Eric Ingerson, Bret Mogilefsky, and Peter Chan in 1996 -- two years before the game's release.
In 2000, Schafer left LucasArts to form Double Fine -- which has released Psychonauts
and is working on Brutal Legend
-- with some of his co-workers from Grim Fandango
's development team. Reviewing the group's old notes, the designer remarks, "Game documentation sure has changed since 1996!"
In addition to puzzle structures, early artwork, and background information and solutions for over 80 puzzles, the document includes content that was eventually cut -- such as a Pizza Demon and a five-puzzle action climax -- in order to complete the game within three years.
"If only we had one or two more years!" says Schafer. "Well, reading about them ten years later is just as good, right?"
He says that the game's puzzles seem much more difficult than he remembers, adding, "People said the puzzles in Grim
were super hard, and I’ve always maintained that this was due to a deep character flaw or mental illness on the part of the player. But now, reading this again, I’ve realized that, holy smokes, some of them puzzles were nuts. Obscure. Mean, even."